As the coronavirus has taken hold, all schools, bars and restaurants, and many business and community organizations throughout New York state have been forced to take drastic measures with extended closings.
As of Monday morning, the following River Region interests have announced closures and changes in their operations, according to information provided by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce:
•Kiwanis Club of Lewiston – Weekly member meetings are cancelled until further notice.
•Lewiston Dance Center – Classes cancelled the week of March 16; another update will be available on March 20.
•Lewiston Porter Center School District – Closed until April 20. Visit the following link for Planning for Home Learning: HERE for information on Planning for Home Learning.
•Lewiston Recreation Saturday basketball program – Postponed until further notice. An outdoor court might be available by late May, if possible.
•Lower Niagara Moose Lodge No. 584 – Will close at 8 p.m. March 16 and remain closed until further notice.
•Mount St. Mary's Hospital & Health Center – Due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, all outpatient education programs, health screenings, support groups, seminars and community events have been cancelled until further notice.
•Niagara University – Classes are cancelled for two weeks; after that, courses will continue online.
•Rock Solid Tattoos and CRMAC Lashes, Lewiston location – The studio will close for a few weeks with an opening date TBD.
•Silver Sneakers, Red Brick in Youngstown – Cancelled until further notice.
•Stella Niagara Education Park – Closed until April 20.
•Stella Niagara swim program – Cancelled until further notice.
•The Town of Lewiston Senior Center – Closed until further notice. The Senior Center staff will be on hand tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, to field any questions. The Senior Center number is 716-754-2071. At this time, there is no date for re-opening.
•Village of Lewiston Recreation – All recreation programs at the Red Brick Municipal Building are now cancelled, as well as Lewiston swim at Stella Niagara until further notice
•The Wear and Share community closet – Closed until further notice
•The Youngstown Free Library – All programs sponsored by or held at the library are cancelled from March 16 to April 10.
•Youngstown Recreation Program – All recreation programs are closed until further notice.
•The Lewiston Council on the Arts event "Toast and Jam" scheduled for March 16 at Tin Pan Ally has been postponed to a later date to be determined.
•Lewiston Senior Center United Health Care program, scheduled for March 16 is cancelled.
•The Historical Association of Lewiston “Jeopardy” fundraising event on March 28 has been postponed.
•The “Dining in the Dark” event with the Lewiston Community Lions Club, set for March 30 at Apple Granny Restaurant, has been rescheduled to Monday, June 1.
•The “Taste of Jazz” fundraiser for the Northwest Jazz Festival, scheduled for April 19 has been postponed to a later date.
•The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce business blender, scheduled for April 23 at Bella Rose Vineyard and Winery, is postponed until a date to be determined in May.
•The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner scheduled for May 21 at Niagara University will be postponed to a date in July or August.
•The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce golf tournament scheduled for June at Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course has been rescheduled to Monday, Aug. 10. More details to follow.
Castellani Art Museum
The Castellani Art Museum on the Niagara University campus will remain closed to the public until April 20. All public programs, events and tours are cancelled until regular business hours resume. For more information, visit www.castellaniartmuseum.org.
The Historical Association of Lewiston’s monthly meeting, scheduled for Thursday, March 26, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, has been cancelled. HAL will announce at a later date when it will resume monthly programs.
The Lewiston Choraleers Easter programs have been canceled. This includes concerts at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, St. John de LaSalle Church in Niagara Falls, First Presbyterian Church in Lewiston and Messiah Lutheran Church in Lewiston.
Lewiston Public Library
From the Lewiston Public Library:
“The Lewiston Public Library will be closed indefinitely.
“We will keep our patrons updated on further developments via Facebook and our website.
“Please note that any fines accrued during this period will be waived.”
Niagara University Family Business Center
Niagara University’s Family Business Center's April 7 breakfast forum is being postponed as a precautionary measure, “given that the health and safety of our attendees is our primary concern.”
Niagara University Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directives and guidance from federal health organizations in the United States, Niagara University’s Volunteer Income Tax program has been cancelled.
Youngstown Lions Club
The Youngstown Lions Club has cancelled its Easter egg hunt in compliance with the governor's order limiting the size of groups to fewer 10 ten people.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed all restaurants to close in-house offerings as of 8 p.m. Monday. Eateries were directed to switch over to a takeout/delivery-only model.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of Lewiston establishments offering customers one or both options:
AROUND NIAGARA COUNTY:
Adell’s School of Dance
Adell’s School of Dance has cancelled classes until further notice.
American Legion Post 205
Organizers of the Vietnam Veterans Anniversary Commemoration event, scheduled for March 19 at the Brounshidle American Legion Post 205, 3354 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, announced the event has been cancelled due to restrictions covering public gatherings.
“We’ll update you when a new date is set,” said Evangeline Conley, public affairs officer for the VA Western New York Healthcare System.
Aquarium of Niagara
The Aquarium of Niagara will close to the public at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, and remain closed through 9 a.m. March 28, in response to COVID-19. All scheduled events and programs within that timeframe are cancelled.
Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas
The Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas announced that, due to confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Western New York, it has decided to postpone all events and meetings from now through the end of April.
Executive Director Cathy Oddo said the chamber office at 250 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda, would will remain open at this time for staffer only, so they can continue to work on future events, but will be closed to the public through the end of April.
“As we continue to monitor the situation, we will keep you updated on new dates for our events. Please continue to check our website and our Facebook page or call the chamber office at 692-5120,” she said. “Take care of yourselves and be safe.”
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Niagara River Greenway Standing Committee will not meet on Wednesday, March 25, as previously announced, due to lack of business. There are no projects to vote on. Press releases will be sent with updates regarding each meeting and more information can be found at https://parks.ny.gov/newsroom/meeting-notices/.
Historic Riviera Theatre
From The Riv:
“For the safety of our staff and patrons, we have decided to close our box office for the time being. This means that patrons can only purchase tickets to future events online at RivieraTheatre.org. In-person and phone sales have been suspended.
“We are currently making decisions along with artists and their representatives during this rapidly changing situation. We continue to monitor all news and information as it becomes mandated by government officials. We ask that patrons please be patient as we work behind the scenes to reschedule postponed shows.”
For a full list of current postponements and new dates, visit www.RivieraTheatre.org.
The email also noted patrons who’ve purchased tickets to these events will have their tickets automatically transferred to the new date.
Historical Society of the Tonawandas
Historical Society of the Tonawandas President Alice Roth announced that all March and April programs currently scheduled are cancelled. All city buildings are now closed as of 4:30 p.m., and no night meetings will take place. This includes the Niawanda Pavilion, and thus, prevents the March 26 program regarding native Tonawandan Gladys Parker from occurring.
Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
The NACC announced the following:
Dear Friends of the NACC,
The Niagara Arts & Cultural Center has always been a safe and welcoming place for people to gather for arts and cultural opportunities; for this reason we view the health of our community as a top priority.
In response to the recent need for increased public safety measures, the following changes have been put into place. These notices are subject to change, as we will be responding to evolving directives from local, state and federal governments.
•The NACC office is open for business. Extra cleaning and health precautions are being taken. However, we suggest you consider replacing in-person meetings with phone and email correspondence at 716-282-7530.
•The Townsend Gallery is closed. The Garden Gallery is open for individual viewings during regular business hours.
•The Starry Night Café Dining Room is closed. Takeout and delivery remain an option (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday; call 716-371-2026 or use DoorDash)
•Most Classes hosted by tenants are canceled. Please check with your individual instructor.
•Theater performances, special events and workshops at the NACC are canceled or postponed.
Niagara Arts Guild
The Niagara Arts Guild announced its March 20 meeting is cancelled/postponed.
News updates on the Arts Guild’s spring art show are expected in future days. For more information, email Nona McQuay at [email protected].
Niagara County History Center
The History Center will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17.
A press release said:
Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Niagara County Historical Society is closely monitoring the situation and are taking measures to keep the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. The History Center will be closing its doors to the public effective Tuesday, March 17. We are postponing and canceling all events and programs until further notice. This closure includes the Erie Canal Discovery Center and the Niagara County Genealogical Society. We hope to reopen by early April as we continue to carefully observe any changes and developments as they occur.
We wish everyone to remain healthy and safe during this difficult time and will continue to update the public as the situation progresses. Please visit our website, Facebook and Instagram for updates and more information.
Niagara County SPCA
The Niagara County SPCA is requesting the public make appointments to visit shelter animals amid COVID-19 social-distancing recommendations.
A press release said:
Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak and Niagara County state of emergency, Niagara County SPCA is requesting appointments to visit shelter animals in order to limit the number of patrons at the shelter. The shelter is also requesting that no used physical donations be dropped off at this time, but you can still help by purchasing items off of the shelter’s Amazon Wish List.
“The health and safety of our staff and our animal-loving supporters and patrons is our top priority, which is why at this time we are practicing social distancing while continuing services to the public on a limited basis. We are asking for your help in limiting the number of people through the shelter at this time. However, there are still wonderful animals in need of homes, so please visit our website to see pets in need of adoption,” Executive Director Tim Brennan said.
Niagara County SPCA would like to emphasize that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread the coronavirus.
It is also important for residents to include their pets in their preparedness plans. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, people with confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with people as well as pets.
Residents can schedule an appointment to visit shelter animals by calling 716-731-4368. Visit Niagara County SPCA’s Amazon wish list at https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2WTK1PZJQLQL2 or make a monetary donation to the shelter at www.niagaraspca.org.
Niagara Falls ‘Council in the Community’
The Niagara Falls City Council’s first in a series of community outreach meetings has been cancelled for Saturday, March 21.
“With the federal government suggesting events of 10 people or more should be cancelled, the council decided to cancel this event,” Chairman Chris Voccio said. “We hope the situation changes before our June 11 event.”
Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center announced it will close until further notice to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“The health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is always our highest priority. While the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center has not been directly affected by COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close as of 6 p.m. March 14, and postpone all scheduled programs and events until further notice,” Interim Director Ally Sponger said. “We made this decision to support the overall health and wellness of our communities and for the safety of our patrons and staff. Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation carefully and are committed to being responsive to and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state of New York, and Niagara and Erie counties.
“While our facility will be closed, our team is hard at work from home, continuing to support the Heritage Center’s mission. We will carefully reassess the situation in the coming weeks and share updates on our website and social media channels.”
Seneca Niagara Casino
The Cedric the Entertainer and Friends show was postponed at Seneca Niagara Event Center.
He said, “To My Fans in Niagara Falls,
“Unfortunately, we've had to postpone the upcoming show at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino due to the current crisis. But please know that I look forward to seeing you and bringing some laughs once we all get through this. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and stay healthy. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and I hope we'll be announcing the rescheduled show soon.”
If show is rescheduled, patrons may keep their ticket to be honored for the new show date, or refunds will be available at the point of ticket purchase.
For for up-to-date entertainment information, visit senecaniagaracasino.com.
United Way of Greater Niagara's annual Awards Meeting & Breakfast, scheduled for April 3, has been postponed. A new date will be announced at a later time.
Erie County Fairgrounds
The Erie County Agricultural Society announced it is extending the cancellation and postponement of events on the Erie County Fairgrounds until April 30. In addition, pari-mutuel harness racing at Buffalo Raceway has been suspended until May 2, and New York state has closed Hamburg Gaming until further notice.
A press release said, “These decisions were made to keep the safety, health and well-being of all visitors and employees of the Erie County Fairgrounds a top priority as we work together to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Previously announced cancellations and postponements:
Newly announced cancellations and postponements of non-fair events include:
The press release added, “The Fairgrounds would like to thank Western New York for its support, understanding and loyalty during these challenging times. Visit www.The-Fairgrounds.com for updates and event refund information when it becomes available.”
Explore & More
A press release stated, "We wanted to let you know that effective immediately Explore & More will temporarily close until further notice. At this time we have postponed all scheduled events, programs and classes through the end of March. We do not yet know when we will re-open and get back to business as usual. We will keep you updated as things progress. We thank you for your patience and continued support as we make these difficult but critical decisions. Please stay safe and healthy."
St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy
Amy Betros, co-founder of St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy on Walden Avenue on the East Side of Buffalo, announced its annual St. Joseph’s table major fundraiser scheduled for Thursday at the Lake Erie Italian Club has been cancelled due to the state of emergency declared for Erie County and the City of Buffalo because of COVID-19.
“In order to comply with the directives from our governor, county executive and mayor, it is with great sadness we have to cancel our St. Joseph’s Table,” Betros said. “We are so grateful for all of our wonderful and generous supporters, donors and volunteers and especially the Lake Erie Italian Club.”
“I encourage everyone during this time to make an extra effort to pray more and offer sacrifices, especially for all those affected by the virus. Many people are suffering physically and financially because of this. Please also pray for us as we continue God’s work here at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy,” she continued.
Through the generosity of donations from many local restaurants, St. Luke’s annually hosts its elaborate, meatless St. Joseph’s table as a fundraiser to help offset the incredible costs of feeding 400-600 less-fortunate neighbors each day at the agency.
Since the cancellation will cost the mission financial donations to offset its rising food costs, volunteers are encouraging anyone who had reservations or who planned to attend to visit www.stlukesmissionofmercy.org and consider a donation or volunteer at an upcoming event.
St. Luke’s is also in desperate need for donations of disinfectant sprays, wipes and cleaners. For more information, call 716-894-4476.
AAA driver education
AAA Western and Central New York will be suspending upcoming defensive driving/driver improvement program and five-hour pre-licensing classes effective immediately. Classes will be suspended until further notice out of safety precautions surrounding COVID-19.
AAA said, “With many parents and students alike working from home, this is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of online driver education courses.
“Students who are signed up for defensive driving are encouraged to take the online class. There is no online option for the FIVE-hour course at this time.”
AAA “License To Learn” classes will also be canceled, and registered students will receive communication from AAA on course options. Students can take the “LTL” online portion at home, but they must call AAA to register in advance at 800-836-2582, option 2.
Limited in-car driving lessons and driver evaluations are still being conducted for those who are already registered with proper car cleaning after each lesson, good hygiene, social distancing and safety protocols in place. New registrations are not being accepted at this time.
Students who need more information can go online to www.AAA.com/DriverTraining where they can enroll in online courses, or call 800-836-2582 for more information. AAA is reaching out to parents and students who are enrolled in the programs as well.